Every March 1, the red dragon from the flag of Wales can be seen on proud display in cities across Canada. This calendar date marks the celebration of St. David, patron saint of Wales, and Canadians with Welsh heritage observe the event with festivities that include banquets, signing and storytelling.
According to the 2011 National Household Survey, Canadians who claim Welsh ancestry number over 450,000. Substantial populations can be found in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta, with smaller but still significant communities in Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. While Welsh Canadians generally haven’t remained attached to their ethnic background to the same extent as other groups, there is an increasing interest among them to explore their roots. Efforts are being made to teach and learn the Welsh language in various parts of the country and a number of Canadian cities are home to traditional Welsh choirs.
The Welsh have made significant contributions to our nation from the very beginning, and a number of Canada’s first explorers were from Wales. Most influential among them was the mapmaker David Thompson, who surveyed over 130,000 kilometres of Canada’s harsh wilderness on foot.
Welsh Canadians make up an important part of our culture.